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Exclusive Interview: Rialto’s WetPaint Larry Chats on Being an Inspiration and Pioneer in the Arts in the Inland Empire

By Naomi K. Bonman

As you drive around Southern California, you can’t help but to notice graffiti. It’s on the freeway bridges, ramps, train cars, abandon buildings, and just about every flat surface that is in attention to the general public.

Graffiti frustrates many because they feel as if it destructs the city unless it is done in a tasteful manner. Over the recent years, we have seen more graffiti artists who have turned their art into something more positive and of value, such as Rialto, California’s own WetPaint Larry.

“I’ve been painting for a long time,” he states on what inspires him to paint. “Everything around me inspires me to go harder. I have a lot of things that I paint that makes me feel good.”

WetPaint Larry started off doing graffiti but now he paints murals for small businesses, cities, and schools. He is known well regionally and has built up an impressive social media following with over 15,000 followers on Instagram. Larry’s accomplishments recently earned him recognition in the “Under 30 Awards” that was presented by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes. 

“That was a good highlight for this year,” WetPaint Larry discusses his recent achievement. “That was something huge for me because when I went in there and looked around I seen high rank [city officials]. As I sat there, I thought ‘[Man], I’m among great people that are doing great work. So, for me that’s huge from being a graffiti artist to getting that award. I look at it all the time.”

Since his latest city achievement, WetPaint Larry has been on the grind with trying to secure more jobs for himself in the schools. He is looking forward to expanding beyond Rialto and has had school officials from Fontana and San Bernardino call him to do some work for their schools.

You can check out WetPaint Larry’s work on his Instagram page @wetpaintlarry and if you want to collaborate with him on a project send him a direct message via the platform.

Winter Was Cool Despite the Heat

(from left to right) CEO of Black Business Expo, Jerry Green; President of the Black Chamber of Commerce Inland Empire, Tammy Martin-Ryles; Black is Lit Founder, Winter Minisee; and Host of “Empire Talks Back”, Wallace.

(from left to right) CEO of Black Business Expo, Jerry Green; President of the Black Chamber of Commerce Inland Empire, Tammy Martin-Ryles; Black is Lit Founder, Winter Minisee; and Host of “Empire Talks Back”, Wallace.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Sunday’s “Empire Talks Back” (ETB) radio broadcast was amazing as usual.  Their special guest, Winter Minisee, 16-year old founder of ‘Black is Lit’, had no problem tackling all our world issues. Watch the video of the show live at www.ustream.tv/search?q=empire+talks+back.

ETB is broadcast each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. on KCAA 1050-AM, 102.3 FM and 106.5 FM Radio, and it streams live at www.kcaaradio.com.

Obituary: Dr. Francis Bandoh-Aidoo

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Dr. Francis Bandoh-Aidoo

Dr. Francis Bandoh-Aidoo was born in Bekwai (Ashanti), Ghana of Ghanaian parents. He lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his grandmother and aunt. His parents were highly educated and therefore he aspired to be the best he could be in life. He was destined for greatness, faithfully serving the Lord and being lead by the Holy Spirit to make decisive decisions. Ranking high in exams in high school and college were some achievements he spoke about. Obtaining his first job in Ghana as an accountant was thrilling for him for he had gained experience working amongst people. He often spoke of his beloved siblings, whom he learned from. A very unique man was Dr. Aidoo. It was hard for us to grasp where he was coming from at times because of his excellency and being a disciplined individual. We had to accept the fact that he was a strict man who wanted the best for his family, so he did things his way.

Upon leaving Ghana in his early twenties, he took a big leap to move to England to pursue his education as a certified public accountant. He also studied law and received different credentials in business.While studying in London, he met his wife who was a nursing student. It was a real love story for them, for they fell in love, got married and had two children. He started working for a company, importing and exporting goods. That was part of his business experience.  Dr. Aidoo wanted to do more with his knowledge, and that’s when he moved to the United States. He believed the United States to be the land of opportunity. Years later, his wife conceived their third child. He had a creative idea of manufacturing hair care products because of people’s need for solutions to receding hair lines and hair breakage problems. He made products for all hair types. The products had now become a company. First it was known as Afriq A Fro, then Ancestral Hair Care Products, and now Aidoo Aid. He researched enzymes and alkaloids and how they could be used to effectively help hair grow. He started his trial and testing procedures with two adopted brothers Peter and Rocco Guerriero. Together, they never thought he would fail and encouraged his courageous reputation. To this day, that teamwork legacy constructively stands for Dr. Aidoo’s legacy to be embarked. His coworkers and family continue to believe in his vision of promoting his hair products. His children will inherit his company with dignity and respect of attaining what Dr. Aidoo so valued.

This is a short summary of this wonderful and clever man whose life was of the essence. He was an interesting individual and his family believes his legacy will live on. We love you and will miss you Dr. Aidoo.Thank you for reminding us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, so do it!